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Big 12 Schools Could Benefit From Texas, Oklahoma Leaving Early

  • The Big 12 could negotiate an early exit with Oklahoma and Texas.
  • Payments from those schools could compensate its legacy schools.
Austin American-Statesman-USA TODAY NETWORK
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While Texas and Oklahoma are under contract to remain in the Big 12 until 2025, there’s a good chance the two schools could leave a year early.

Commissioner Brett Yormark says he’s “open to it” — if it works for all parties involved. 

An early departure would also mean paying an early exit fee, and that money could be used to reimburse the Big 12’s eight legacy schools. Those payments could reach as high as $168 million in total, per CBS Sports, but will likely be significantly less.

A year ago, the legacy schools voted unanimously to forgo a portion of their media rights distributions to help fund the conference’s four newcomers — Brigham Young, Central Florida, Cincinnati, and Houston.

  • Baylor, Iowa State, University of Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Texas Christian, Texas Tech, and West Virginia each allowed the conference to retain $16 million, split between 2023-24 and 2024-25.
  • That sum will be drawn from the schools’ annual distributions of $42.6 million.
  • That cash will be used to help the four new members, which will receive $18 million to $19 million once they join.

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Cash Incoming

Even if the eight legacy schools have to handle a couple of relatively lean years, they can expect a steady flow of media money starting in 2025.

The conference agreed to new six-year deals with ESPN and Fox last year totaling $2.3 billion, or $380 million annually. Those deals will bring the conference’s 12 schools $31.7 million each in annual media revenue.

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